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Android App Always Active While in Background

I've seen a noticeable decline in my Pixel 2's battery life since getting the Model 3. I suspect it has to do with the app being active in the background pretty much all day (see first screenshot). If I turn off background activity with the slider, things go back to normal, but using the phone as a key becomes very unreliable. It's only showing up at 1% usage on that screen, but I think this is being reported incorrectly and is actually contributing to a higher than normal usage under System (second screenshot).

Is anyone else seeing similar performance?

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I've seen a noticeable decline in my Pixel 2's battery life since getting the Model 3. I suspect it has to do with the app being active in the background pretty much all day (see first screenshot). If I turn off background activity with the slider, things go back to normal, but using the phone as a key becomes very unreliable. It's only showing up at 1% usage on that screen, but I think this is being reported incorrectly and is actually contributing to a higher than normal usage under System (second screenshot).

Is anyone else seeing similar performance?

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m8FnLrY7WN1DL1R4QsaqamuDrxHPqa-UE2RgUpZ4mgY1VbUPUJD_Sp2s5tPEOuEmGGrWnv_7XiV1w-a6dv_msZ9xaSYTJwkNeDuUxb_bTXRlYB-mQr8FD_DpW4IZ0AAs_TWwJmunPiylOR0jVJgQXP41YA0Z9JvBHLC_rlMpqp6npoynP4I8s3_h5DMx-72KZtEuvl-XWSZ4fB4WPZhPGgkZKgOUFuqHuqJB6Hhsbo5jd5URgd98jx_aLJKBXop81WDZ2Xnz-3jsNe60mke3GGXvaqSU8GU3X6ARIW3UouzDuNxGK7_UR1amIW4GkowneY_6DizppuT_3vSwt-hQj-mBvehFqgK6f0fbL3dGP7RXQPH77hZiY-TLZ5DBAAtsPXEKsp5DpIZEQn4SPVFjvM0hei-TvbjFBt_2RAuQ7TXbWwtQ9-6lhvifOtnpGP6hW17NYXY0JU348fFlTi9vsDwv0rb8Nd2Hdxjy-x2M-DZQ1CRVoJJXUwdwkmGy9YN_SMLAcWS67XkWT6cbICttlNHwsUmKG88ySXTo9Wg6ey5xTPpNdTRTs7i9BZVDg3ud79Fn5jWTB-IarWndz7WyXjMdXF5Cftyu-6X6JWzu=w534-h949-no

Can't see your images. If you're linking from a Google account or something you might need to allow permissions to public.

And yes, the app will drain battery life. Especially if you are near your Model 3 and the bluetooth stays persistently connected.
 
I'm actually noticing more battery drain while I'm at work where the car has no cell signal and I'm far away from it.

Interesting. I stopped using the app generally a few days after I got the vehicle because the phone key functionality was so spotty. I keep the app terminated most of the time.

You've measured this empirically or anecdotally? I am actually a bit curious. They may have it set to a short wake cycle, shorter than the normal, in the event it couldn't update.
 
You've measured this empirically or anecdotally? I am actually a bit curious. They may have it set to a short wake cycle, shorter than the normal, in the event it couldn't update.

Eh, mostly anecdotally I guess, but I've been monitoring it closely for 5 weeks now to be confident in what I think I'm seeing.

With background activity limited on the app, I have no issues getting through a full day with ~4 hrs of screen on time (actually about 2 hrs of use with 50% left at the end of the day). With background activity allowed, I'm getting to 50% battery around lunchtime and will have to charge to make it through the day.

I've also tested by leaving the phone alone for 30 mins with background activity enabled and then turning it off for 30 mins and the trend on the battery life graph changes significantly.
 
Also, their timeouts
Eh, mostly anecdotally I guess, but I've been monitoring it closely for 5 weeks now to be confident in what I think I'm seeing.

With background activity limited on the app, I have no issues getting through a full day with ~4 hrs of screen on time (actually about 2 hrs of use with 50% left at the end of the day). With background activity allowed, I'm getting to 50% battery around lunchtime and will have to charge to make it through the day.

I've also tested by leaving the phone alone for 30 mins with background activity enabled and then turning it off for 30 mins and the trend on the battery life graph changes significantly.

Oh, I don't doubt that. Just curious on the particular scenario you describe where the car has no cell phone signal and the app queries in vain. I'm never our of a cell service area for the vehicle to test this. It sounds like the app just behaves poorly in this scenario.
 

e-FTW

New electron smell
Aug 23, 2015
3,349
3,242
San Francisco, CA
Pixel 2 has Bluetooth 5.0 + LE, if that's what you're asking: Pixel 2 Tech Specs - Google Store
Thanks, am on the other side of the fence phone-tech wise, and have not paid attention to phone key issues yet (waiting on AWD+P).
I totally see how "standard" bluetooth (non-Low Energy variants), if active consistently will drain the battery.
 

e-FTW

New electron smell
Aug 23, 2015
3,349
3,242
San Francisco, CA
Any variant will, just a difference of amount.
That is true of many, many things.

All I am saying is that BTLE was designed with those types of uses in mind. And it is really, really power efficient. I don't even know if Tesla uses it or not on devices that have the capability.
Maybe it does not have the range for Tesla's use? I am not an engineer in things with antennas, so am waving my hands a little.
 
That is true of many, many things.

All I am saying is that BTLE was designed with those types of uses in mind. And it is really, really power efficient. I don't even know if Tesla uses it or not on devices that have the capability.
Maybe it does not have the range for Tesla's use? I am not an engineer in things with antennas, so am waving my hands a little.

Tesla's use should be within about 1.5 meters (5-ish ft) to the vehicle.

I don't think bluetooth energy usage is OP's issue as much as the app waking his cell radio and keeping it active for extended periods of time in scenarios where the car is out of contact.
 

novox77

Active Member
Nov 25, 2017
2,580
5,557
NH, MA
Google Pixel here. Definitely seeing a significant drop in battery life due to connection with car. Before Model 3, my battery lasts all day easily. Now I need to charge it in the evenings. If I turn off BT for the day, the battery consumption goes back to before.

Looking at the standard battery usage page, BT does not show up as a high percentage, but System is higher. I never liked how Android uses System as a catch-all. Masks a lot of battery drain issues.

Some more interesting observations: I'm one of the people who has issues with phone as key. Fixing it generally involves toggling BT off and on again. But sometimes, I have to use the airplane mode toggle to fix. Different types of underlying errors, and airplane mode does a deeper reset of the radios than just toggling individual radios.
 

gregd

Active Member
Dec 31, 2014
2,623
1,851
CM98
Some more interesting observations: I'm one of the people who has issues with phone as key. Fixing it generally involves toggling BT off and on again. But sometimes, I have to use the airplane mode toggle to fix. Different types of underlying errors, and airplane mode does a deeper reset of the radios than just toggling individual radios.
Is toggling the radios usually sufficient, or do you also need to restart or otherwise mess with the application itself? I ask because with my Google Pixel2 one can toggle the radio without unlocking the phone. Much less hassle, though still much more than is desirable.
 

novox77

Active Member
Nov 25, 2017
2,580
5,557
NH, MA
Is toggling the radios usually sufficient, or do you also need to restart or otherwise mess with the application itself? I ask because with my Google Pixel2 one can toggle the radio without unlocking the phone. Much less hassle, though still much more than is desirable.

I have never needed to kill/restart the app. BT toggle fixes things for me most of the time, but when that fails, a quick airplane mode toggle works. Exactly as you say, I don't open the app anymore. I just toggle radios by a single down swipe to expose the toggles.

Before I discovered that airplane toggle was deeper than BT toggle, I would reboot the screen on the car, which also resolves it. It's interesting because it makes it ambiguous which device is responsible for the communication breakdown. And to me, it makes me hopeful that this can be resolved on either side, likely via better error checking and handling.

I was even considering maybe a Tasker profile that periodically toggles Airplane mode as a hacky workaround. But I would want to check for an A2DP connection state, cause I wouldn't want it to kill radios if I'm streaming music. I couldn't think of another use case where I needed uninterrupted data.
 
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Reactions: gregd
I have never needed to kill/restart the app. BT toggle fixes things for me most of the time, but when that fails, a quick airplane mode toggle works. Exactly as you say, I don't open the app anymore. I just toggle radios by a single down swipe to expose the toggles.

Before I discovered that airplane toggle was deeper than BT toggle, I would reboot the screen on the car, which also resolves it. It's interesting because it makes it ambiguous which device is responsible for the communication breakdown. And to me, it makes me hopeful that this can be resolved on either side, likely via better error checking and handling.

I was even considering maybe a Tasker profile that periodically toggles Airplane mode as a hacky workaround. But I would want to check for an A2DP connection state, cause I wouldn't want it to kill radios if I'm streaming music. I couldn't think of another use case where I needed uninterrupted data.

Would wager this has more to do with the fact of leveraging bluetooth in general and there will not be much Tesla can do without severely compromising the battery life of people's phones. Bluetooth was never really meant for this passive purpose.

Airplane mode is a deeper reset because many of these radios, which used to be separate chips, are now combined. When you toggle bluetooth on many modern devices it's all software effects. Previous side effects may remain in memory since it is a shared driver between radios. Bluetooth shouldn't be leveraged as a passive key like this because of all the extra code makers have around trying to conserve battery life at the driver, kernel and userspace levels.
 

novox77

Active Member
Nov 25, 2017
2,580
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In another thread, I mentioned that turning off battery optimization for the Tesla app has appeared to fix my phone-as-key woes. It's worked perfectly since I did that. And another bonus: my battery drain seems to be solved too. ironic that disabling battery optimization increased battery life. that would seem to indicate that previously, when the connection broke, the phone worked extra hard trying to reconnect or something.

Given that it's only been a day, I'm going to observe for another day or so before declaring that that setting change can fix Android phone key issues for a lot of people.
 

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